Tuesday, February 27, 2007

I’m baaaack!

Life gets in the way, ya know?

At any rate, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking and reading. Always dangerous.

And in a fit of masochism (not that there’s anything wrong with masochism…I’m just describing my state of mind), I began looking into doctoral programs recently. It’s going to be close to two years before I can begin such a program, assuming I decide to go with it. But I thought I’d start taking a look at what I could do—or rather, where I might be able to work on what I want to study.

My thought is to work on this theory of mine, to do with images of God, bisexuality (or pansexuality, more accurately) and transgender. The problem is, most “gender studies” programs turn out to be about women, which is limiting to say the least. Moreover, they seem to be certificate programs within other programs. So I could get a PhD in Women’s Studies and English, with a certificate in Gender Studies; but is that really appropriate, given what I want to study? My answer is no!

So I decided to try the other angle—the theology side—and look into programs at seminary and school of theology. Here the issue is that most doctoral programs at seminaries are DMin., the Doctor of Ministry, intended more for congregational work than abstract theological work. A couple programs do have PhDs available, or flexible DMin programs. So then the question becomes, can they handle my area of study? How accepting are they, really, of GLBT people?

There seem to be a three or four options out there for me to explore…early days yet.

Because, you see, there’s another issue, not theoretical or ideological this time. The language requirement. A reading knowledge of two languages besides English—so that I can access sources in another language. Now, I think this is a good idea in theory. But it’s a hard one to work with. I studied German, and lived in Germany for several years, so German won’t be a problem (and it’s considered a scholarly language, and will be very useful for theology). But. A second language? Sigh. I’ve been thinking (off and on, mostly off) that Spanish would be a useful language to know. On the other hand, since I’m living in Canada, French would come in mighty handy. Problem is IT’S A WHOLE OTHER LANGUAGE! I’m not sure I’m up for that. But the programs that require two languages are also the ones that seem to have the most focus on theology, which is what I want.

Sigh. Maybe I’ll look into that “Rosetta Stone” language software I see advertised in the New Yorker. Or find a Spanish girlfriend. On the other hand, it will be easier, here in Canada, to find a Francophone girlfriend. Or boyfriend. Just as long as s/he speaks a foreign language and will teach it to me! Oh, and DP might object.

Clearly, this whole enterprise is going to take some serious Thought.

And why a doctorate, you ask? Well, I’ve been thinking about this topic for a while, and what I’ve come to realize is how much I don’t know, and how much I need to know if I’m going to explore these questions and issues properly and in depth. Each question’s answer leads to more questions. I need guidance and teaching and some suggestions and a whole lot of all of those. And probably a foreign language too. That adds up, pretty much, to a PhD.

Which scares the socks off me.